The roads I take...

KaiRo's weBlog

October 2009

Displaying entries published in October 2009. Back to all recent entries

Popular tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, L10n, Status, Firefox

Used languages: English, German


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October 30th, 2009

My Upcoming Trip to the US Gulf Region

As some of you might know, I've long been planning to go on vacation in November, and this is coming up fast now, so I'll let everyone know where I'll be in those weeks that you'll not see me on IRC or, unless there's an emergency, anywhere else in the online world.

I'll take off together with a good friend (who already joined me for the California trip last year) from Vienna next Saturday, November 7th in the morning and land in Houston, TX on the same day in the late afternoon (thanks to the time shift). From there, we've rented a car and will do a round trip that is only roughly planned and subject to change as we feel necessary.

Our current plan is as follows:
Nov 07-10: Houston Area (Space Center, Galveston, ...)
Nov 11: Houston - Port Arthur - Baton Rouge - New Orleans
Nov 12-14: New Orleans
Nov 15: New Orleans - Gulfport - Biloxi - Pensacola
Nov 16: Pensacola - Montgomery - Atlanta
Nov 17-18: Atlanta
Nov 19: Atlanta - Chattanooga - Nashville
Nov 20: Nashville
Nov 21: Nashville - Jackson - Memphis
Nov 22: Memphis
Nov 23: Memphis - Little Rock
Nov 24: Little Rock - Texarkana - Dallas
Nov 25-26: Dallas (26th: Football match @ Cowboys Stadium)
Nov 27: Dallas - Houston
Nov 28: Houston/Flight

In the afternoon of the 28th, we'll ride the plane back to Europe, arriving in Vienna on 29th around noon (now paying for the timeshift).

A map of POIs we've marked for this trip is available from Google maps (I'd so much love if OpenStreetMaps would support easily generating such things). If you know anything additional that could be interesting to pay a visit to, please tell me about it!

If you want to meet up with us somewhere, note that our plans are not set in stone and we might change them around as we see fit, but I should be able to check email every evening at the hotels, and that will probably also be the only reasonable way of contacting me in that time. I won't read anything that doesn't suggest in the subject that it's important or affecting my trip, though. I'm on vacation, after all.

That said, I'll still be around next week, but don't expect any really heavy work from me - and have a great November!

By KaiRo, at 17:19 | Tags: Gulf Region, Texas, travel, USA, vacation | 4 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 29th, 2009

What The Hell Is Up With AMO?

I was recently disturbed when AMO announced that the only communication channel with them I could routinely use would be shut down - the newsgroup was obsoleted by some web forums. While newsgroups flow naturally along with what I can glance over quite fast in my mailnews client, i'd need to open a website and log in and do several clicks and wait for page loads to read a web forum, which just takes up too much time in my busy daily life.
It made me somewhat angry to split their communication channel away from what most of Mozilla is using usually, but I accepted that because I rarely needed that channel anyhow. But, of course, once you accept a thing like that, you immediately get reminded of why it made you angry:

As you might know, I'm maintaining the package for the German dictionary on AMO. When I uploaded a new 2.0 version of that package to support the newer HunSpell spellchecker which we have in Mozilla since some 1.9.0 alpha state, I realized that AMO wouldn't tell Thunderbird 2.0.x any more that the 1.0.1 dictionary version was compatible with that product, as the developer dashboard settings are only reported through the version check for the latest add-on version.

Because of that, I uploaded a 1.0.2 version with just an updated install.rdf so that everything should be fine again. Of course, I made that only report compatibility for Firefox/Thunderbird 2.0 and SeaMonkey 1.x, as for the newer versions the 2.0 version of the dictionary fits perfectly well.

But now for the real killer: At least since the last update of AMO, 1.0.2 is shown as the "newest" version because I uploaded it later than the 2.0 version. And now people with a current Firefox or SeaMonkey don't see the fitting dictionary for them any more!

And what's even better is that the "older versions" link at the bottom of the page does reveal the list of versions, but you can't get to any of those versions any more!

What the hell are the AMO developers thinking? Has anyone of them ever thought about testing such things on their preview/staging server before rolling it out to the public and f**king up add-ons developers' and users' experience and ability to work with the site?

I have been quite patient though a number of problems I've seen with AMO over time, as I knew a number of my problem were with the SeaMonkey-oriented things and those are a niche affecting a lot less people than cool new features for Firefox add-on stuff. But now I'm really badly pissed off.
Supporting versions of add-ons usably and somewhat correctly is no niche issue, it's a major f**k-up of the site - and when I posted this in, I of course got no reaction at all for multiple days, as usable communcation channels just get ignored by the AMO team.
On the other hand, I of course got angry messages from users who can't reach a usable German dictionary any more - and if you look at user number of that add-on, you can understand how many people this affects (German is the most-used Mozilla localization, so just guess the impact - it was among the 5 or 10 add-ons overall last I saw statistics of daily users).

(For now, I've upped the versions of the old myspell-based 1.0.2 version so that people have at least something installable, but it's more than suboptimal.)

Thanks to AMO for messing everything up and giving me and a good number of users a hell lot of trouble. :(

By KaiRo, at 03:15 | Tags: AMO, Mozilla | 9 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 28th, 2009

Weekly Status Report, W43/2009

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 43/2009 (October 19 - 25, 2009):
  • Releases:
    Yeah, I know, the broken record again,but I guarantee you that this was the last week I've been watching over 2.0 and driving it for release.
    We published RC2 on Monday of that week and after a few days, the picture became clearer and clearer that this one would indeed go gold and so I prepared its conversion to the final 2.0 release as well as the updates of the website (including a feature page update and new screenshots) and spent the Sunday evening writing, getting feedback and native language "review" and finally pre-posting the announcement, so that everything would be ready for a Tuesday morning release.
  • Build Machines:
    As it became clear that 2.0 wouldn't need another RC to be built, I could risk some temporary brokenness and possibly permanent changes to the build infrastructure and install the Win7 SDK as well as MozillaBuild 1.4 on the Windows build slaves, which in turn made the Windows comm-central-trunk builds go green again. The closed tree and needed clobbers on the machines for comm-1.9.1 branching did help as well and provide the perfect time to do that work.
  • SeaMonkey L10n:
    RC2 shipped in 19 official languages including US English, plus another one in experimental stage - and that state was transferred to final unchanged. Some more languages are working on getting ready in time for 2.0.1 - if you're a Mozilla localizer and 2.0 isn't available officially in your language yet, we'd welcome your help on getting in ready for 2.0.1!
    I also cared that we can get dashboard ready to support both SeaMonkey branches (sea20x and sea21x) in the future.
  • German L10n:
    Michael Opitz did another large help update, which I could land so that we'll have help more up-to-date in an upcoming 2.0.1 update. Thanks, Michael!
  • Various Discussions:
    comm-central branching, RC2 feedback, Mac build machines, Microsoft add-ons and blocklist, findbar, modal windows, download progress windows, dormant accounts, FF 3.5 -> 3.6 updates and SeaMonkey 2.x impact, Cyber Liberties Conference and Open Web track/talks, etc.

This status update is late once again, but somehow I had other things in mind in those last two days. ;-)

And I'm not sure I have fully realized yet that we managed to do that release we've been working on for almost 4 years - but it's great that we actually made that step and I can't tell enough how proud I am of everyone who helped that to come true - everyone one of those contributors and those fixing bugs in the 2.0 cycle are only one part of the people behind this release. In addition to the developers, all localizers, everyone doing QA, testing nightlies, and prereleases, filing bugs or otherwise helping the project, including the users - all those people in our community have been helping to build this release. I might be coordinating the project but it's all of you who make it a success, so congratulations to everyone in our community, you have done a really great job and made things possible that nobody would have believed when we started this project in 2005.
Well done, thanks for everything, and I'm looking forward to continuing this for improving the suite even further!

By KaiRo, at 23:19 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 27th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2.0 - Das moderne Internet-Paket ist hier!

Das SeaMonkey-Projekt aus der Mozilla-Familie freut sich, heute seine komplett überarbeitete nächste Generation des "Alles-in-einem"-Internetpakets zu veröffentlichen: SeaMonkey 2.0 ist jetzt zum kostenlosen Download verfügbar und verschmilzt die Ideen hinter dem Netscape Communicator mit der modernen Plattform von Firefox 3.5 zu einem der überzeugendsten Open-Source-Produkte für fortgeschrittene Internetbenutzer.

Die Kombination von Internet-Browser, E-Mail- und Newsgroup-Programm, HTML-Editor, IRC-Chat und Web-Entwicklerwerkzeugen, die schon in ihren Vorgängerversionen eine breite Benutzerbasis etablieren konnte, wurde auf der modernen Mozilla-Plattform neu aufgebaut, die neben anderen Funktionen eine hervorragende Verwaltung für Erweiterungen (Add-ons) bietet.
Zusätzlich wurde sie weiter verbessert, beispielsweise mit Feed-Unterstützung (inklusive eines RSS- und Atom-Feedreaders in der Mail-Komponente), einem modernen Aussehen, Wiederherstellung von Browser-Tabs und Fenstern nach Abstürzen oder Neustarts, Mail-Tabs, automatischen Updates, intelligenter History-Suche aus der Adressleiste, schnellerem JavaScript, HTML5-Funktionen (wie Video oder herunterladbare Schriftsätze) und sogar Unterstützung für die Kalender-Erweiterung Lightning (von der eine Beta-Version zur Installation in SeaMonkey 2.0 innerhalb der nächsten Wochen erwartet wird).

Die Release Notes (Versionshinweise) enthalten eine detailliertere Liste der Verbesserungen und bekannten Probleme mit der neuen Version, sowie Installationsvoraussetzungen und -anleitungen. Weitere Informationen über SeaMonkey 2.0 und das SeaMonkey-Projekt erhalten Sie auf bzw. der deutschsprachigen Seite!

By KaiRo, at 11:40 | Tags: Mozilla, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | no comments | TrackBack: 0

SeaMonkey 2.0 - The Modern Internet Suite is Here!

The SeaMonkey project at Mozilla is excited to release its completely refurbished next generation of the all-in one Internet suite today: SeaMonkey 2.0, now available for free download, melds the ideas behind Netscape Communicator with the modern platform of Firefox 3.5 to create one of the most compelling open source products for advanced Internet users.

The combination of an Internet browser, email & newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools, that has already established a wide user base in its previous incarnations, has been rebuilt on top of the modern Mozilla platform, featuring world-class add-on management among other things. In addition, it has been improved with feed support (including an RSS and Atom feed reader in the mail component), a modern look, restoration of browser tabs and windows after crashes or restarts, tabbed mail, automated updates, smart history search from the location bar, faster JavaScript, HTML5 features (for example video and downloadable fonts), and even support for the Lightning calendar add-on (which will issue a beta for installation on SeaMonkey 2.0 in the next few weeks).

The Release Notes feature more in-depth lists of the improvements and known issues with the new version as well as installation requirements and instructions. Find even more information on SeaMonkey 2.0 and the SeaMonkey project at!

By KaiRo, at 11:37 | Tags: Mozilla, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 5 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 24th, 2009

SeaMonkey 2 Party and Release Event - In Vienna!

Some of you might remember that I was planning for an OpenWebCamp in Vienna - that was planned for October 27 but it was downgraded seriously due to not having a real Mozilla community around here yet and me not being able to organize the event myself when driving a major release at the same time. Still, the guys from quintessenz planned to have us on board for a track of the Cyber Liberties Conference, and so I did sit down with them for a while this week to work out what we actually can get into this track (speakers still wanted, if you can come around to talk on open web topics in Vienna on short notice, please tell me, travel costs can probably be reimbursed).

In any case, I told them that we're planning to release SeaMonkey 2.0 final right on that day, and the guys were suddenly cheering! We could do an official release event right there, they claimed, we could add this into press releases - and, above all, this could finally the topic they have been looking for as a label for the party on Monday!

In the end, what we decided there is the following:
  • October 26, 20:00: q/Treff Spezial @ q/uintessenz - Museumsquartier Wien: Seamonkey 2.0 Release Party
  • October 27, Open Web Camp/Track @ Cyber Liberties Conference, with a number of talks on Mozilla and the open web - and with an official SeaMonkey 2.0 Release Event

If anyone reading this is from or near Vienna, I'd be very happy to meet you at any of those events next week!

By KaiRo, at 02:21 | Tags: Mozilla, OpenWebCamp, party, release, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | no comments | TrackBack: 0

October 20th, 2009

Weekly Status Report, W42/2009

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 42/2009 (October 12 - 18, 2009):
  • Releases:
    This should hopefully have been the last week of trying to figure out what patches can still go into 2.0 and approving them, I built SeaMonkey 2.0 RC 2 (with a long track of redoing things), getting it ready for making it public yesterday (including a fix for partial updates so they apply correctly on Windows).
    This should be the final release candidate and if things go well in testing this week, it will be converted to a final 2.0 release scheduled for next Tuesday. woo-hoo!
  • Smaller Fixes:
    I tested and reviewed a patch from Adrian to make work for localizers, esp. our French guys were happy about this, as they have split mail help into smaller chunks for easier L10n.
    A small patch for showing release notes on first run could also land for RC2, including a followup to make it actually work. ;-)
    And, trying to keep users' hard disks clean, I checked in a fix to remove a few unused modules on complete updates.
  • SeaMonkey L10n:
    Catalan chatzilla and venkman was added in time for RC2, Georgian and Swedish could be added as official locales, Turkish requested to only be experimental for RC2 and final due to unfinished translations.
    With that, RC2 ships in 19 official languages including US English, plus one in experimental stage!
  • Various Discussions:
    Lightning support, comm-central branching, builds, RC1 feedback, needed build and machine updates for 2.1/m-c trees, testday, Microsoft add-ons and blocklist, etc.

I hope that finally our builds for SeaMonkey 2.0 are done - we'll see how well RC 2 holds up in testing this week, but chances are good that next Tuesday will be the big day and we can go gold, just converting those exact build to the final ones. A tremendous development effort from all around our team went into this release in the 3½ years we've now been working on it, and the What's New list in the release notes only shows the tip of the iceberg. This is the first really major release from our project after we've been releasing fixed-up, slightly improved and rebranded version of the old Mozilla suite for quite some time.
This time we ship a new suite, a modern reincarnation of the original idea, and completely done by the volunteer team of the SeaMonkey project. Thanks to everyone who helped us to come so far, every one of those people in our community can be proud of him/herself these days.

Now let's test the hell out of it this week and then actually release it - are you with me? ;-)

By KaiRo, at 18:46 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 4 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 15th, 2009

Weekly Status Report, W41/2009

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 41/2009 (September 28 - October 4, 2009):
  • Releases:
    On the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again one of my main work items this week was release driving for 2.0 - the news is that we have released SeaMonkey 2.0 RC 1 on Saturday, I spent a large amount of time building it and later could push it public.
    Follwoing that, I worked on a few followup issues found in build verification and early testing.
  • SeaMonkey L10n:
    We could add Italian and UK English to the all-locales file for SeaMonkey - it looks like both are not just yet ready to deliver a complete localization for 2.0 final, but we hope they'll make 2.0.1 a number of weeks later.
    On the actual shipping side, RC 1 shipped in 18 languages including US English, which mean we have all locales on board that shipped either of the betas - with more to come in RC2 (which hopefully will be final).
  • German L10n:
    I synched up the last changes to about:rights and ChatZilla just in time for the RC 1, German should therefore be complete for the 2.0 series - except for minor bugs, which are usually only reported when it goes to the masses in any case.
  • Various Discussions:
    Lightning support, gloda, comm-central branching, builds, RC1 feedback, etc.

I'm sorry my status updates are not coming as early as they should come, I had a few things to do this weekend including Monday, e.g. moving the SeaMonkey 1.x tinderboxes to a new location - and trying to recover from a cold.

In any case, things look very good when looking at RC1 feedback, no major issues reported, a few more smaller bugs have been fixed though - we are at 154 fixed-seamonkey2.0 bugs now, which is a very impressive number since the second beta and which also includes a number of fixes since RC1 already. We currently have no reported blockers and no requests for blocking, so we look to be ready to go for a RC2 which is as much ready to be the final 2.0 as we know yet (we're just waiting for a "go" on a new build of the platform right now). Of course, only good testing will show if it can hold up and really go golden roughly a week after it's being published to testers as an RC.

Let's hope that nothing bad comes up and it can step in front of the curtain as the real thing later this month!

By KaiRo, at 00:00 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 7 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 8th, 2009

Weekly Status Report, W40/2009

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 40/2009 (September 28 - October 4, 2009):
  • Releases:
    Another week of intense release driving - we had the string freeze for the whole 2.0 series this week, and the code freeze just after it. Things are looking good for the release, RC1 should come later this or early next week, depending on the speed of the build machines and our QA. We now have 130 fixed-seamonkey2.0 bugs, a lot of work has happened here!
  • Default Theme Icons:
    The task icons for the new default theme could land this week.
  • Build machines:
    On the weekend, I filed a bug on tinderbox reporting being brokwn which was fixed fast by Mozilla IT - thanks justdave!
    Also, I talked to Seth from the community giving program and he told we they are committed to give us the machines we were promised to get, so the ball in in IT's court now, I'll get into contact with them.
  • EU MozCamp Prague:
    I had tons of interesting talk with people from all over the Mozilla community at EU MozCamp 2009 in Prague - from core SeaMonkey contributors via Moco folks and localizers to Thunderbird, Lightning and KompoZer people - and writing down everything here would be too much. Though it's clear that even I love this community!
    One topic is something i should probably highlight somewhat: The KompoZer folks and us from SeaMonkey agreed to cooperate much more in the future, we talked about how to work together to improve both SeaMonkey 2.1 and KompoZer 0.9 by sharing code and making KompoZer join comm-central for those Mozilla-1.9.3-based release and beyond.
  • SeaMonkey L10n:
    I fixed a small typo in an en-US file so that it doesn't creep into locales as well.
    Also, after the string freeze, I started the opt-in thread for 2.0 RC1 and final.
  • German L10n:
    I synched up de SeaMonkey with the current trunk on the day before string freeze, so that only one change was left for opting in for RC1 later on.
  • Various Discussions:
    Lightning support, gloda, comm-central branching, changes, planning, etc.

Sorry this update is late once again, but I was somewhat busy getting all the L10n opt-ins etc. ready for starting 2.0 RC1 builds, which should be in progress now, hopefully we can push them public quite soon after some preliminary testing, so we get broader testing on the builds before we do a final release.

So, once we have those builds, please help testing!

By KaiRo, at 01:57 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 3 comments | TrackBack: 0

October 1st, 2009

Weekly Status Report, W39/2009

Here's a summary of SeaMonkey/Mozilla-related work I've done in week 39/2009 (September 21 - 27, 2009):
  • Releases:
    Once again, I spent a lot of time release driving work for 2.0, blockers are down to 5 and one request now. We are up to 113 fixed-seamonkey2.0 bugs now, quite a large number of small fixes landing to finish up this release.
  • Default Theme Icons:
    I uploaded a new patch for the task icon part of the new icon set for the default theme that week, meanwhile this has already landed.
  • Support Mails:
    I went through the accumulating support mails in my inbox subfolder once again (I only do that every few months) and replied to every mail there that hadn't got a reply from someone else. This always takes some time, but I don't want to leave such mails without any reply, even if it takes a long time to come and even if me or council are the wrong people to contact for support.
  • ISPDB:
    I filed a few bugs on ISPDB, the database Mozilla Messaging is building for the "autoconfig" feature of Thunderbird 3, which we probably want to use for SeaMonkey as well in the future. It enables users to just enter their email address and have most account settings configured automatically by pulling the relevant info from the server.
  • Statistics:
    I mailed Daniel from the Mozilla Metrics team if I could get a few numbers of how SeaMonkey 2 is doing, and he sent me some good data culminating in my recent blog post on SeaMonkey statistics. Interesting material, thanks, Daniel!
    I also received some interesting statistics on the spread of fixed bugs in the 2.0 cycle across people and components, I'll post about that when we get it updated after the code freeze.
  • Various Discussions:
    Lightning support, 1.1.18, gloda, comm-central branching, Thunderbird UI changes, Mozilla Camp Europe, talk about Mozilla at a FOSS event in Vienna, etc.

I gave an interview this week with Mozilla Hispano, the English version of which has been posted to Mozilla Links.

And this weekend I'll be at EU MozCamp 2009 in Prague and hope to meet a few of you there - and show off SeaMonkey 2.0 there! :)

By KaiRo, at 03:03 | Tags: L10n, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Status | 7 comments | TrackBack: 0

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